Eclipse Tubes - DO NOT BOTHER

rjkflyer Posts: 102
edited May 2013 in Road general
Thought I'd try the super lightweight/free running/puncture resistant Swiss Eclipse tubes.

Had read some concerns re manufacturing defects early on (porosity etc), but allegedly fixed now.

In case you've not seen, these tubes are clear plastic, the material being similar to that of paddling pools. They have a pretty significant heat weld where the end are joined.

5 miles into first ride, front goes down. I've done 1,500 miles on Conti 4 Seasons tyres plus standard Conti tubes without a puncture, so a bit suspicious.

Tyre off - nothing found inside or outside. No apparent hole in tube. But... ...the 'weld' had developed a weeping leak.

Bought 3 - they will all be going back.

These are a waste of time since you cannot rely on them.


  • Got some. Used them for last couple of months- no issues and run well. Were all 3 leaking or was it, as can be with any inner tube just a faulty one?
  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Ooooo they're freaky - something seems very wierd about transparent tubes!! I think i'd be scared to fit them!! :D

    So did you really only fit the one and decided that they're useless to the point of posting on a forum to denounce them as such? I've had faulty parts before - and they just go back. If i get two then thats a different story.
  • rjkflyer
    rjkflyer Posts: 102
    I agree that one failure does not make them all useless, BUT:
    (a) i have never had a single tube fail due to manufacturing defect in all of my life
    (b) there are further details that I will share below, that, for me at this price point, mean a return of all.

    Just for those who might not realise - these tubes are GBP40 EACH.

    The tube held pressure whilst bike unused for two days. First ride on smooth dry roads the seam clearly developed a leak after 5 miles. The tyre is perfect, and under eyeglass examination has no damage (so I have been careful not to denounce it for an unrelated fault).

    It is well known that these tubes were very subject to QC issues early on, but I thought this had been resolved - so I have already taken a balanced view on them - and not categorised them as useless without looking, reading up, buying the things and trying them out.

    Also, I'd comment:
    1. The weld is quite bulky, at least on two of the ones I have (including the failed one). So, if you got a puncture very close to the weld, I doubt you could patch it
    2. On my heavy thick 4 Seasons tyres, you couldn't 'feel' the bulk of the weld, but I wonder on thinner racier tyres if you might. However, this is just an opinion I accept.
    3. The replacement Eclipse tube I installed when fixing the failure resulted in the tyre profile having a very noticeable 'pinch' in it by the valve. On this tube, when inflated , the valve must have been distorting the shape of the tube suggesting where it was pressed into the tube it had affected the 'roundness' of the tube.

    As always YMMV, but this is not an ultra-thin race tube that I'm criticising for failing when I subjected it to unreasonable demands.

    Am I intolerant of product failure - yes probably more than the 'average'. However, they're VERY expensive, and so they need to work. 100%.

    So, all in all, not for me.
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    RJKflyer wrote:
    these tubes are GBP40 EACH..
    I'm sorry but whatever possessed you to buy in the first place?
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Seems that I recall, many years ago, someone making plastic(for lack of a better word) tubes. Think I even tried them. No bad memories of them. Think they just sort of faded away.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    JGSI wrote:
    RJKflyer wrote:
    these tubes are GBP40 EACH..
    I'm sorry but whatever possessed you to buy in the first place?

    Emperor's new clothes !
    Ooooh look, transparent too :lol:
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • rjkflyer
    rjkflyer Posts: 102
    Yes, bloody good Q.

    Well, answer is that they're 29g instead of 104g each, so it's the cheapest wheel upgrade possible. And, as we know, saving rotating mass is usually well worthwhile.

    Obviously, omitting the minor detail requirement of being able to keep the air in...!